Weekend Getaways: Discover the Dynamic Arts Scene in Baltimore

Visit the Baltimore Museum of Art, Graffiti Alley and the Walters Art Museum.

Emma Frankart Henterly
Columbus Monthly
American Visionary Art Museum

If you make regular appearances at Franklinton Fridays, the Columbus Museum of Art, CAPA’s theaters or Short North’s galleries, the vibrant arts and entertainment districts of Baltimore make for a perfect weekend getaway. Get the most out of your trip with this sample itinerary.

Day 1

Start with the Baltimore Museum of Art, where admission is free, but timed-entry reservations were required as of press time. Explore the modern, African and European art collections, or catch exhibitions like Women Behaving Badly: 400 Years of Power & Protest (through Dec. 19) or Color and Illusion: The Still Lifes of Juan Gris (Sept. 12–Jan. 9). If you can’t snag a reservation, you can at least meander through the 3-acre sculpture gardens, which don’t require them.

Get the latest stories:Subscribe to Columbus Monthly's weekly newsletter, Top Reads

Switch gears to the grungy Graffiti Alley in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District, where Baltimore’s street art community has free rein to tag every inch of wall, ground, pipe and even trash can. You can find Graffiti Alley’s riot of expression behind Graffiti Warehouse, an experimental art space and gallery. Finish your evening with drinks and a show at nearby Ottobar, named one of America’s top 10 live music venues by Rolling Stone in 2018, which books local and national acts alike.

Courtesy Visit Baltimore

Day 2

Enjoy a short stroll south from your hotel (see “Stay” at right) to the Walters Art Museum, which has free admission and a collection of more than 36,000 pieces spanning 7,000 years of human history. Spend the afternoon meandering through Mount Vernon and Station North, popping in to the districts’ many galleries. Catch an evening show at Hippodrome Theatre, Everyman Theatre or Baltimore Center Stage. The Hippodrome is Baltimore’s go-to for touring Broadway productions and national music and comedy acts, while Everyman and Center Stage focus more on local and original works.

Find more Weekend Getaways:12 Great Direct-Flight Vacation Destinations From Columbus

Day 3

Flights back to Columbus are typically offered around 5 and 10 p.m., giving you plenty of time to peruse the American Visionary Art Museum, the country’s official national museum dedicated to self-taught artists—just make sure you purchase your timed tickets in advance.

Flights from Columbus to Baltimore

Southwest, two to three daily to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

Where to Stay in Baltimore

Hotel Revival in Mount Vernon, the city’s premier cultural district, is an art aficionado’s dream. The site of the Baltimore Museum of Art’s inaugural exhibition nearly 100 years ago, the former mansion now is a JdV by Hyatt property. Emerging and established artists’ work is displayed throughout, and many pieces are available for purchase. Some of the boutique hotel’s 107 rooms offer views of Baltimore’s Washington Monument, as does the rooftop restaurant.

This story is from the October 2021 issue of Columbus Monthly.